Milang will now play host to one of the world’s rarest wetlands birds, thanks to its new Snipe Sanctuary which was opened last month.
In celebration of World Migratory Bird Day on May 15, residents and local school children gathered for the opening, which was hosted by the Milang and District Community Association.
The launch was a celebration of the hard work a range of local groups had put into seeing the sanctuary come to life.
Environmental, cultural and government groups from across the region collaborated to deliver the project, which involved habitat restoration focussing on infrastructure and ecological works around the wetland.
The sanctuary was designed to promote awareness of its environmental significance and relationship to social and cultural values of the area.
Latham’s Snipe is a rare wetlands bird listed under the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.
This shy little bird, which weighs in at just 200 grams, flies some 8,000km from Russia and Japan to summer in parts of south-eastern Australia, including Milang, before starting the long return journey in March.
To enhance the summer home of this curious bird, revegetation works led by the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning group resulted in Milang community groups planting 10,000 new plants around the wetland last winter.
Other works included the installation of pathways, interpretive signage, seating, viewing nodes, a new bird hide and a shelter.
The site is culturally enhanced with the installation of a creative sculpture and upcoming mosaic murals.
Alexandrina Mayor Keith Parkes commend all involved for the collaborative spirit that had brought the project to life.
“The Snipe Sanctuary, Milang and Lake Alexandrina are significant environmental assets in our district with this project further highlighting the importance of preserving our environment for future generations to enjoy,” he said.
The Milang Snipe Sanctuary was an initiative of The Milang Foreshore Habitat Restoration Project, which received more than $550,000 in financial support from the the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLMM) Recovery Project.